If you haven’t read my article on Tokyo yet, that’s fine. You can read it here.
Unlike my Tokyo trip, the Osaka (and Nagoya) was well-planned and well-budgeted as we went there during the Sakura season – Apri (where everything is whooping in prices from hotels to restaurants to almost everything).
There is only 1 flight to Osaka if you are traveling via Cebu Pacific. Arriving at Kansai International Airport at 8PM Japan Time (Manila is 1 hour behind Osaka time). Perfect as the trains will still be operational so you don’t need to spend much on transport. Though transport from Kansai to Osaka City will cost around Php500 (Y1,000) via the JR Line. Please note that there are other trains at the airport that goes to the city (Nankai Line) so chose wisely. We took the JR line as our homebase will be in Chuo-Ku area and our station is at Taisho giving us a direct drop.
Before we left the airport, i did 2 things to get us ready for our itinerary tomorrow: 1. I rented a wifi phone for Php1,200 for 3 days (complete with charger and box) which will be dropped off at the airport before leaving Japan but must be paid in full before released to you, and 2. I bought us a 2-day Kansai Thru Pass for Php1,100 (Y2,200) which we will use on the second and third day of city train hopping.
As we arrived at Taisho station, the challenge started. I did not rent the wifi for the night, so basically we don’t have wifi and the train station does not have one (unlike in other station). I asked for directions from locals but they can’t read the English translation of the hotel I booked but I managed to get a screenshot of the reservation I made so they figured the Japanese name of the hotel. They are 4 locals in their bikes. So after some series of Japanese conversations, they decided to take us to our hotel. Yes! they helped us find out hotel by guiding us thru the streets. It’s already past 9:30pm and we are still yet to find our hotel. They got off from their bikes, accompanied us thru the walk and finally, when we saw the hotel, I can only say so much thanks to them for their big big help! With all the routes we took, it will take us all night to find it without GPS. Arigatou Gozaimazu!
Lesson learned: don’t be decieved by the description of the location as they seemed to be near the station based on the map and description but it was actually far.
Upon entering the Hotel Splendid 21, another something new – there is no physical reception at the hotel! Everything is based on given instruction from the reservation email sent.
We first need to retrieve the key from the mailbox using the code that was provided to us in the email reservation. Once you retrieve the key, you open the main glass door in order to gain access to the lobby. Upon entering the lobby, locate the elevator to take you to your desired floor. The key you used at the main door will also be the key you use for your unit. The doors in the room are double-locked using the same key. If you don’t notice the other keyhole below the handle, you will have a hard time figuring out how to open the door.
And so when we opened the door, we are greeted by a tiny little serviced apartment with the coolest and coldest interior I have ever seen.
But just as it seems that we are to end our night there, we went out again to buy something to eat – for tonight and for breakfast tomorrow as our hotel does not include any breakfast. We hunted for convenience store nearby! and spent another Y1,000 for food stock.
Day 1 – Our day started with the famous park in Osaka – Universal Studios Japan (USJ). The park is just 1 train ride to Universal City station without the need for transfer. Upon exiting the station, the path leads all the way to the entrance of the park already so you don’t need to figure out your way. The entrance is so so big and wide, people are scattered everywhere!
Our signature pose infront of the Universal Studio logo after the main entrance. Took us a while to shot it as there are other people who are waiting in line to get that USJ logo shot.
Just like any other theme park, we spotted several characters along the way.
My boy is probably the happiest on that day! We roamed around like there’s no tomorrow! I don’t intend to stop him though. As I am also enjoying my day, especially when I saw my ever favorite SailorMoon being featured in their 4D show!
The entire park is a children’s dream paradise! We went to watch the minions dance with Gru. And explored the chaotic Minions Park.
The homebase of Spiderman and watched their 4D!
We also tried their nerve wracking roller coaster. I’d say that because, my son fainted while in the air, but I managed to shake him and asked him to shout on top of his lungs. When we got off, his lips are colored purple already. I will never ask him to ride a roller coaster until he is old enough.
We also went for the Jurassic Park but never tried the even bigger roller coaster!
And of course, a visit to USJ is not complete without the Harry Potter experience! We rode all their rides there and the extremeness of the rides is just right for my boy. He enjoyed it and kept on screaming even after we exited the ride!
And of course, don’t forget the famous ButterBeer. My son even had to notice that the reason why it was called Butter Beer is because the Beer came from the Butt of the barrel! Made me laugh so hard! Don’t worry, the drink is not actually beer so it’s ok to have your children take a sip.
As the park is coming to a close, we got ready for dinner at Dotonbori area. The salmon sushi is good as well as the crepes from the stand even though they are just replicas!
Ended Day 1 exhausted, feet hurts a bit but tolerable!
Day 2 – Our itinerary for the day is to explore Osaka City.
Started off with the Osaka Castle!
Though it seems that the castle is near, it’s quite a bit of a walk from the train station. The surroundings of the castle is so beautiful every corner is worth the snap. Enjoy the walk from the train station to the castle as the sceneries are amazing!
After which, we just walked around the city viewing their mega structures!
Admired these sakuras up close and other varieties of flowers.
At night, we went to ride the HEP Five Ferris Wheel! Felt a bit scared of heights as the Ferris Wheel is at the top of the building which adds up to the heights.
Our Osaka exploration was so fun you will never run out of things to do here!
Follow our next adventure at Nara Prefecture!